The Israeli soldier who opened fire on Arabs in the West Bank city of Hebron last week spoke about plans to attack Palestinians months before he did, a newspaper reported Sunday.
Pvt. Noam Friedman, 22, tried four months ago to persuade other soldiers to help him steal a tank, drive it to Jerusalem during the night and fire on the Al Aqsa Mosque, one of the holiest sites in Islam, the Yediot Ahronot daily reported.
Yediot said a soldier at the West Bank base where Friedman served, identified only as Sgt. N., told security agents that in September he warned superiors of Friedman’s intentions but was not taken seriously.
Friedman eventually despaired of acquiring a tank and told Sgt. N. he would instead shoot at Arabs in the village adjacent to the base or fire at a passing Arab car, Yediot said.
On Jan. 1, he traveled to Hebron and opened fire with his M-16 rifle in a crowded market area, wounding five Palestinians.
Friedman’s lawyer has reportedly urged him to plead innocent on grounds of insanity.